What do you get when you cross a rock concert, an opera-house, and a lecture on Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
You get Our Lady Peace’s Wonderful Future Tour at the Winspear, that’s what!
Inspired by recording their latest album, Spiritual Machines II, while separated by countries during these past two years of COVID-times, and by their long-time muse, Ray Kurzweil’s book Spiritual Machines, the band used holographic technology to bring guest artists along for the tour, including former band-mate Mike Turner.
The holographic projection thingamajigs also provided the ‘opening act’ and intermission entertainment via two AI beings who talked to the audience about AI and the future.
Though not an entirely new concept – holograms have been on stage in the past – it was still very Star Trekky and cool. And after two years of zoom meetings, it does seem as though hologram performances may now be the present/future (hello, ABBA!)
It certainly was a brilliant way to get to see the band perform with Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokno on Stop Making Stupid People Famous (which, by the way, may just be my favourite OLP song – it can be hard to let go of the classics in that spot, but this song is just so good!) and all the guest musicians.
I’ll be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about the amount of AI TedTalk there was… it felt a little too long for a rock concert and we could barely hear what they were saying towards the end of the night over the exuberant fans chanting for the band.
However, I very much appreciate artists’ using their platform as a pulpit for their passions and messages, and that’s what happened here. This band has clearly been inspired by the book Spiritual Machines, and AI technology. In addition to the holograms, Raine talked about how that book had inspired them, and how so many of the author’s predictions have since come true.
I don’t know much about AI, but maybe the difference right now is the passion with which humans present the message? The AIs gave a lecture, Raine gave an impassioned plea.
Anyways. The music was great! It’s OLP, after all. Those tunes, the classics, the new ones, came up through the floor, rolling up through my toes and into my body, infusing me with happy vibes and pure energy.
And thanks to Raine for making (letting) us get up out of our seats to stand and dance!
The Winspear is a beautiful venue, home to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the juxtaposition between its classic, symphonic, elegant design and a rock concert is a sight to behold.
But that atmosphere tends to make the audiences feel like they have to remain sitting and behave like they are at the symphony. That wasn’t a problem here once Raine said “Get up!” after the first couple songs.
We jumped up, and it changed the energy into a proper rockin, screamin, dancin’ madhouse of a rock show, surrounded by velvet, box seats, and AI holograms!
A wonderful future, indeed!